Dalinar began to pant, and when he moved quickly, he left trails of blue stormlight in the air.

From Way of Kings Chapter 56, page 977 of my edition. And then, 14 pages later in Chapter 57:

All five gemstones had been drained.The white light streaming from Kaladin's skin faintly illuminated the inside of the bag.

What color is stormlight?

  • Bluish white? Unless Dalinar's color light is coming from the gems in his armor.
    – Radhil
    Dec 14 '16 at 16:05
  • yeah i always thought it was mostly white, but easily tinged by your armor.
    – Himarm
    Dec 14 '16 at 16:06

Stormlight is exactly what it sounds like. Light.

Kaladin's light is not changed by anything. Dalinar was wearing a shard plate which I think had sapphires inlaid in them. The light coming through the plate would be blue, because they are coming from the blue stones.

  • 1
    Do you have any sources for anything?
    – CHEESE
    Dec 14 '16 at 19:56

After I posted this I got really curious and began poking around to see what I could find.

In an AMA on Reddit in 2013 (which I found here), Sanderson mentioned how the color of gemstones matters for Surgebinding. This is what he said:

A gemstone with an impure color would be considered like a bad alloy in the Mistborn magic—it either wouldn't work at all, or would work very poorly. The chemical and color signature needs to be of a specific variety to provide the proper key to accessing the power of transformation.

This makes sense; after all, the gemstones of a Soulcaster do different things for each stone. If the color of the gems matter, they may give off different types/colors of Stormlight, like different metals in Mistborn.

Here(WARNING TV TROPES) I found this:

When infused with Stormlight, they glow; the brightness and color of the light depends on the size and type of gemstone, respectively.

I haven't found Brandon confirming this, but I have found several questions about an Awakener messing with the color of gemstones/stormlight.

Since different gemstones of different colors--and the colors do seem to matter--do different things via Surgebinding, I think that the color of stormlight does in fact depend on the gemstone.

EDIT: Found some quotes that illustrate this hypothesis further. First from WoK Chapter 37:

The vestibule inside had a low ceiling and was decorated with ceramics; zircon spheres gave them a pale blue cast.

In WoR Chapter 86 it is shown that diamonds shine with a white light. (Don't have a quote, I found this in a citation on the wiki.


Stormlight is light, it doesn't have a color inherently (or rather is white), but once it is in a gem (either sphere, fabrial, or shardplate), it becomes that color (as may be expected).

When she opened the money pouch, shards of ruby, emerald, diamond, and sapphire shone out on her face.
The Way of Kings - Chapter 3: City of Bells

Other occupied alcoves glowed with different colors from the spheres being used to light them; the darkness of the huge space made them seem to hover in the air.
The Way of Kings - Chapter 7: Anything Reasonable

“Well, I suppose I should be leading you back to the ship, then,” Yalb said, reluctantly gathering up the spheres in the pile at his feet. They glowed with a variety of hues. Their light was small—each was only a chip—but it was impressive winnings.
The Way of Kings - Chapter 8: Nearer the Flame

There, she used all her remaining spheres to fill the oversized goblet lamp. To get enough light, she was forced to use spheres of all nine colors and all three sizes, so the illumination was patchy and varied.
The Way of Kings - Chapter 8: Nearer the Flame

(emphasis mine)

When in a person (or a clearmark), Stormlight is white.

It was dark inside. All five gemstones had been drained. The white light streaming from Kaladin’s skin faintly illuminated the inside of the bag.
The Way of Kings - Chapter 57: Wandersail

So basically it operates exactly like light in the real world.

Here is a cheat sheet for the gems and the colors they give off.

Gem Color
Sapphire Blue
Smokestone Unknown (only described as "light". perhaps white)
Ruby Red
Diamond White
Emerald Green
Garnet Red
Zircon Blue
Amethyst Violet
Topaz Orange
Heliodor Yellow

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